Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All in for June

October has my heart, but June is the purest, the sweetest month. All things seem possible in June. When the heat of August rolls around, our good intentions will lie in disarray at our feet, but for now the world looks full of potential. The temperature is perfect, the April and May winds have subsided, and the grass is, oh, so green, which to a cowman (or woman) is sweet indeed.

We have supper on the terrace each night, soaking up these lovely evenings free from mosquitoes and pollen. No wonder brides pick June! 

Mark and I spent a couple of days in the hills, checking cows, putting out salt, and fencing. Ranching is pretty much about fencing, in case you didn’t know.

We made the lap around our current pasture which is an old dry farm that was converted to conservation reserve program (CRP) ground and then used for grazing for the last 15 years or so. It was planted with a single grass species when it was turned into CRP ground, but it’s gaining a variety of plants as time goes by.

Diversity in pastures is a good thing. Just like a community benefits from a variety of job opportunities, so does an ecosystem depend on a diversity of plants and animals. If the lumber mill closes down, it’s a good thing if there are dairies, farms, and a fabrication shop to keep people employed. So true on the range as well. Spring is cool and wet, summer is hot and dry and each year is different, so a variety of plants means there's always something green and growing to keep the range productive for cows as well as other wildlife - songbirds, badgers, or soil organisms.  

I’m always on the lookout for different species showing up on the dry farm. It’s easy to spot them now - wild roses, dandelions, yarrow, sagebrush, bluegrass, and timothy. A range scientist told me once it would take some thirty years before native species would return to a previously farmed area on the range and it’s proving to be true. Thirty years is a long time to a human, but not so much to an ecosystem. We believe the cows add much needed diversity themselves and speed up the process.

It’s Seth’s birthday tomorrow. He’ll turn twenty-one with some Kentucky FFA kids. Happy birthday son! God speed and safe travels.

Mark repairing fence

it's been spliced before

a perfect day in June

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